Turkey’s new president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has made his first official overseas trip since being elected.
In keeping with tradition, his visit was to the breakaway northern part of Cyprus where he met the Turkish Cypriot leader ahead of a joint news conference.
Reunification of the divided island is an important topic for Erdogan, Turkey’s first directly elected president. He said he will continue to present the issue on international platforms.
“The NATO summit and UN General Assembly take place soon,” said Erdogan. “The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) has always topped our agenda.”
Erdogan outlined his plans to start what he described as one of his biggest projects, “to supply water from Turkey under the Mediterranean Sea.”
“This will deepen our brotherhood and ties,” he added.
Cyprus has been divided since Turkey invaded the north of the island in response to a Greek-backed military coup in 1974. Since then several reunification attempts have been unsuccessful.
Talks resumed in February 2012 but proposals were eventually rejected by some political parties in southern Cyprus.
Only the Greek Cypriot government in the south of the island is internationally recognised.